The Girl On The Train centers around Rachel a woman with so much going on in her life, I do not know where to start. Divorced, depressed an alcoholic who suffers from low self-esteem to her her life is over, pointless. But there is one small glimmer of light in her life, the train that runs from Ashbury to Euston, one thing, in particular, makes her happy, watching the houses and the occupants going about their lives like she use to, normal happy lives. One couple in particular that she loves to check on are Jess and Jason a couple she sees on a regular basis, to Rachel they seem so happy, so in love, so normal everything she no longer feels. But like everything else in her life, even Jess and Jason change. One day whilst traveling on the train Rachel spots Jess in her backyard in a romantic embrace, the problem is the man she is with, is not her husband. Filled with rage that Jess could be so heartless towards Jason and hurt that this perfect couple is not so perfect after all, she decides that she needs to do something, what, she has no idea, but she has to do something. What she finally decides to do after thinking it over, is to get blind drunk get on a train and head for Witney where her perfect couple lives, where she used to live.
The next morning she wakes full of dread knowing something bad happened, but she has no idea what. She is covered in bruises, her lip is cut, and she has a wound on her head. But the worst is yet to come when a few days later she finds out that Jess, whose real name is Megan Hipwell has gone missing. If only she could remember what happened when she took the train to Witney, she was mad at Megan for what her betrayal, she was blind drunk, but as usual, the events that took place are just a huge black hole in her memory. Did she hurt Megan? Did the man Megan was having an affair with her hurt her? Or had she simply disappeared too ashamed to face what she had done? When the police turn up to question her after they were given information that she was in the area on the night of Megan’s disappearance, Rachel begins to wonder if maybe, just maybe she is in some way responsible. As she begins to dig deeper she realises that no one can be trusted and everyone has secrets.
This is one of the best debut novels I have read, it had me hooked from the first page. I totally sympathised with Rachel and the lot she had been dealt in life. Her hopelessness and despair can be overpowering at times and there were times when I shook my head at the choices she made. The story flows smoothly in a time line leading up to, and after Megan’s disappearance. Instead of chapters, the book is told from the perspective of Rachel, Anna, and Megan. Books written in this style are my absolute favourite as I feel that it allows the reader a better chance to connect to the characters. I didn’t just read the book I submerged myself into it becoming part of it, like a shadow in the background urging Rachel on to figure out what really happened the night Megan disappeared.
It is a great study into human nature, it shows the reader, whether they want to see it or not that people lie, people, cheat. The most important message that I took away from this book, that I feel the author was trying to convey is, no matter how well you think you know a person, there is always something more, something dark that unless we look into that darkness we never find out the truth.